Merkley Awards Military Service Medals to Veteran’s Family

Salem, OR – In a ceremony at the VFW Veterans’ Memorial in Salem today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today presented the Crom family with long-lost service medals earned by Petty Officer Ronald Crom during his service in the U.S. Navy. Petty Officer Crom served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and passed away in July 2014 due to complications from Agent Orange exposure. 

Petty Officer Crom’s family has been working to get replacement service medals since the original medals were lost over the years.  After running into roadblocks from the Pentagon bureaucracy, the family turned to Senator Merkley’s office for help. Senator Merkley’s staff was able to cut through red tape and help get the replacement medals.

“It’s an honor to have helped to restore these medals to the family of Petty Officer Ronald Crom and honor his service to our country,” said Senator Merkley. “Petty Officer Crom went to war for America, and ultimately died of complications resulting from that service.  His service medals belong with his family, not tied up in some Defense Department bureaucratic red tape.”

Petty Officer Ronald Crom enlisted in the Navy in August 1966 and served two tours in the Vietnam War. During his three years of active duty service he attained the rank of Engineering Aid, 3rd class and served with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Forty as a Navy SeaBee. After returning to Oregon, Petty Officer Crom worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation for almost 30 years. Ronald Crom passed away in July 2014 due to complications from Agent Orange exposure.

Petty Officer Crom’s family had been working tirelessly to obtain replacement for the service medals that were lost over the years and kept running into roadblocks while trying to navigate the many offices within the Department of Defense. After visiting with Senator Merkley’s staff and sharing their challenges, Senator Merkley’s staff was able to work directly with the National Personnel Records Center and get the replacement medals delivered to Oregon in just weeks.

The medals being presented today include: the Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, and Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon.